Current eNews Letter from Communications Director,
Dan Carman, and Executive Director, Rodney Petersen:
June 26th, 2015
Friends of CMM,
The month of Ramadan began on June 18. It is observed by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. This year Ramadan follows Shavuot, May 23-25, God's giving the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. In between these two celebrations comes Pentecost, May 24, a day celebrated by Christians to acknowledge the descent of the Holy Spirit and birth of the Church.
Each of these revered holy days is challenged by contemporary social change. Issues of racism, sexism and religious misunderstanding challenge each of our different religious communities. In the United States we are reevaluating the depth of racism that exists, notably through recent murders in Charleston. The ruling by the Supreme Court mandating equality of marriage, a case of manifest justice for some is for others an occasion of misunderstanding and bitterness. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is opening a new chapter here in Massachusetts as issues of Islamophobia and extreme Islamic militancy cloud the MIT campus. The nature of this social reality asks that we examine anew the historic revelations that have guided many of this world’s faithful.
Violence often comes with social change. In addition to the communal violence which plagues our land, there have been severe instances of violence across the world in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, to name but three instances, making evident the conversation on forgiveness and justice that needs to happen for peace to prevail. CMM continues this conversation into its next stage of the “Values over Violence” project, as graduated individuals are readying themselves to take this just peace training to the local and wider human community.
In one month from today, youth (aged 14-22) will come together from all faith backgrounds for interfaith leadership and peace building training at our Interfaith Youth Initiative (IFYI), headed up by CMM staff, theological students from the region, and by IFYI Program Director, Karin Firoza. We are all very excited to roll out this program once again at Brandeis University and see it as an important step to foster the next generation of interfaith conscious leaders. With hope, good work and the leading of the Spirit, this world can be changed!
Dan & Rodney